Two Sundays ago the Epistle was Corinthians 13:1-13. From Douay Rheims:
13 If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up;
5 Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.
12 We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known.
13 And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.
I was surprised reading this as I had never seen the word charity used here. I’ve always read love. According to Bible Hub both charity and love in this verse is agape. This is what I was hoping was the case when I was trying to figure this out because it makes a lot of sense. “To will the good of another as other” fits both of these words very well.
What I find sad and frustrating is our misuse of these words today. Charity very often means to give money to an organization that purports to help others and love means that wonderful feeling we have toward others. While both of these can be very nice things, when compared to what God asks of us, they are incredibly shallow. I do wonder, have we let these words lose so much of their meaning because it is easier for us?
I am far more familiar with 3-13 of this passage as, at least in my readings, it is far more prevalent. But, the first part, 1-3, seems more relevant to me now. Our actions mean little without agape.